Multi-Junction Solar Cells Paving the Way for Super High-Efficiency

Masafumi Yamaguchi, Frank Dimroth, John Geisz, Nicholas Ekins-Daukes

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99 Scopus Citations


In order to realize a clean energy society by using renewable energies, high-performance solar cells are a very attractive proposition. The development of high-performance solar cells offers a promising pathway toward achieving high power per unit cost for many applications. As state-of-the-art of single-junction solar cells are approaching the Shockley-Queisser limit of 32%-33%, an important strategy to raise the efficiency of solar cells further is stacking solar cell materials with different bandgaps to absorb different colors of the solar spectrum. The III-V semiconductor materials provide a relatively convenient system for fabricating multi-junction solar cells providing semiconductor materials that effectively span the solar spectrum as demonstrated by world record efficiencies (39.2% under one-sun and 47.1% under concentration) for six-junction solar cells. This success has inspired attempts to achieve the same with other materials like perovskites for which lower manufacturing costs may be achieved. Recently, Si multi-junction solar cells such as III-V/Si, II-VI/Si, chalcopyrite/Si, and perovskite/Si have become popular and are getting closer to economic competitiveness. Here, we discuss the perspectives of multi-junction solar cells from the viewpoint of efficiency and low-cost potential based on scientific and technological arguments and possible market applications. In addition, this article provides a brief overview of recent developments with respect to III-V multi-junction solar cells, III-V/Si, II-VI/Si, perovskite/Si tandem solar cells, and some new ideas including so-called 3rd generation concepts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number240901
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-79512


  • chalcopyrite
  • CIGS
  • CZTS
  • III-V
  • multijunction
  • perovskite
  • photovoltaic
  • PV
  • solar cell


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